An Asian Christian woman living in London blogging about the everyday issues of religion

Friday, 4 November 2011

The Black Swan of the Week -St. Paul's

A book called 'The Black Swan' written by a former Wall Street trader, Nassim Taleb, is doing the rounds among the politically minded because of its' hypothesis that history consists of random high-impact events rather than day to day detail. Taleb refers to 9/11 and Harry Potter and cites these as Black Swan events, a rarity which people will remember. White Swans are a depiction of normal everyday events that do not stick in one's minds.
There is much more in the book in terms of further analysis but this is the core message.

Applying the Black Swan theory was what happened at St.Paul's a Black Swan event? After endless talk about the decline of Christianity and sparse pews, we saw public anger and fury at what they saw as the church's indifference to injustice. Startlingly, so much was made of Jesus throwing money changers out of the tent. Horror was expressed at St.Paul's decision to ask the demonstrators to leave because it was seen as being contrary to Christianity. There was, suddenly, hope for Christianity.

It is rather difficult to unpack the whole saga of the chaos of St. Paul's because it involved the initial welcome from Canon Fraser, then the Church's u-turn, resignations and then another u-turn. Public opinion shaped these events to a large extent but do remember that the resignations seemed to bolster people's faith. When St.Paul's finally relented about the eviction proceedings it was as if an equilibrium of rightness had been restored.

I honestly think that the Black Swan moment was people's belief in the role of the church and not the split in the church.

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